Happiness Held Captive
Where does one start to tell about depression,whether it be manic or bipolar or any other mental disorder? There are so many things the same in each depressed person and many things so very different. Your surroundings or personality can dictate to you how you will react to depression. These things most people know already. Those that don't, do now.
My reason for writing today was brought about by some alone time I had last night. Alone time is a two edged sword for me. One side cuts away at the issues I carry with me daily while the other edge slices deep inside and leaves my soul bleeding. I was thinking last night about what it really means to be bipolar or manic. What truly separates and defines a person filled with such a crippling disorder. There are many distinguishing products of depression. To accent the differences between "Being down" and real depression, I thought about how I feel inside.
Everyone has their bad day. There are few people in this world that at one time or another have not felt beaten or sad. What makes my down any different from anyone elses? Reasons for feeling depressed don't always show the depth of depression. Let us look at different lifestyles that may open your thoughts a bit more as to why someone like me deals so much harder with depression.
A family or single person, living in an oppressed environment, surrounded by poverty and violence gives way to depression. Someone living with the loss of a loved one or suddenly finding themselves un-employed for what-ever reason surely has cause to be depressed. A man invest his life savings and loses it all is just another reason to be depressed. I am not stereo-typing in any way. People set in these circumstances are not pre-destined to be depressed. There are some very strong people that find ways to rise above it all and be happy. I am truly awed at them and respect them greatly. My point was merely showing reasons for being "down."
Enter the "Other" side of that scenario, now. A man, living a good life, surrounded by loved ones and in a home filled with happiness has little reason to be depressed. More blessed than any man ever deserved, I have anything a man could desire. Blessed with a good income and a home and food and laughter and warmth, I should be the very farthest thing from depression. People yearn and work the butts off to have the life that I live. Now, see how depression is truly defined and how it takes my happiness and holds it captive inside of me. The depression sits, silently watching, sometimes, even allowing me to forget it is there. Reaching highs so fabulous that I KNOW I can conquer the world. Excitement that causes my whole body to shudder with delight and the feeling of total euphonium. This man is depressed??? Really???
I smile at the leaves blowing or the squirrels eating from my feeder. I raise my face to the sky and allow snow-flakes to land on my face and tongue and smile as the coldness reaches my mouth. My laughter can be heard through out the house but unseen by anyone, my mind begins to slowly steal away the smiles and remind me that depression was just beneath the surfaces, waiting to extingiush my happiness. It quietly emerges while I fight to keep it buried inside. Tears replace the smile and thoughts of all I have done in my life-time take over the warm thoughts that had only seconds ago been mine to enjoy.
It isn't the one that has reason to be sad or feel secluded from the world that truly defines depression. The person that has No reason to be depressed and yet is beaten down to the darkest places a man could go, thoughts that are so strong they scare the inflicted... these are the ones that make depression truly the horrifying disorder that it is. I wonder often why it is here and why it is so strong. There are those of you that Know exactly where I am in this battle. You understand and fight the same fight as me. I included a picture of the mind with and without depression simply to show those that believe it is something that is caused by a person being weak or "drama." Medical proof that there are issues of the mind that some of us can NOT simply "rise above."
I do not live daily nor do I live in a world that sees no depression. I do not face my day to day issues but rather fight demons that are from long ago. I can not exist in your world so to love me, sadly, you must live in mine. My world is filled with warmth and joy and accomplishments, published author of 6 books that sit and remind me of what I have NOT achieved, all of the elements of a happy, content life. I hide the sadness and the desire to cry because your world doesn't understand. "Move on," "get over it," "get past it" are words from your world, not mine. depression and bipolar live in my world, waiting patiently to destroy any smiles I try to hold on to. For reasons even I do not know nor understand, happiness is stolen from me and held captive inside, allowed to surface only long enough to allow the people around me to believe that all is well in my world.
Depression, on any level, is a terrible place to dwell. Take it to the extreme and it becomes frightenly real. The abilty to chip away at all that is good and to deminish the idea of accomplishing so much in my life-time is depression at it's best. Many will say seek help and I do. Some will say it is all in my head and they are more right than they could know. Holding on tight to those that love me and writing each day are my safe places. Alone, is a very unpleasant place for me and yet, I search for it and yearn for it. the depth of my depression, when it is at it's worst is more than I can or will convey to you. Things left unsaid in an abstract world, are issues best kept locked inside of my mind and my heart.
This... is depression and it can do damage beyond what the every day mind could ever conceive. My happiness is held captive and ... am a prisoner of my own mind.